Quixote is a mobile home for the entertainment industry.
What started as a small collection of custom motorhomes in 1992 has grown into a production services company that now offers an assortment of trailers, trucks and studios for the entertainment industry. Quixote was founded by alums Jordan Kitaen and Mikel Elliott, who used their background as English students to navigate their way into the film world, Kitaen said. While the company may have started out supplying motorhomes as a side gig, the co-founder says the brand started with the word “Quixote”, taking inspiration from the 17th-century novel “Don Quixote”.
“First and foremost, we love the look of the word itself, Quixote,” Kitaen said. “It’s a very graphic word with a ‘q’ and an ‘x’. … From day one, we knew we were going to try to mark this thing – make it memorable – so maybe we had something valuable down the road.
After deciding on the name, Kitaen said the couple then focused on how the plot of the book aligned with their own history. The whimsical nature character of Don Quixote fits the duo on their shared journey of chasing their dreams and agitating for change, CEO Elliott said.
After graduating from UCLA, Kitaen said he worked in screenwriting while Elliott continued producing when they reconnected. Elliott, who supplied the first motorhome, said they both refurbished three motorhomes to rent out to sets, which Kitaen and Elliot helped drive. The initial goal was to build professional relationships in the industry for their careers above the line, a term for creative employment in entertainment, Kitaen said.
“At one point we just looked at each other and were like, ‘Is this what we want to do, or do we really want to be on the creative side of the business?'” Kitaen said. always double up, and after we make a few bucks, maybe we can fund our own projects.” Frankly, that rollback never happened because we kept seeing the opportunity and the production side, the side below the line.
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As the business has grown from the original three motorhomes to around 600 vehicles and 22 studios, Elliott said the culture has kept Quixote together. By emphasizing 13 company values – such as fearlessness and authenticity – through themed games focused on one person, he said keeping it all fun encourages the company to grow on an individual level. Externally, Quixote hosts an annual Barbie at the Q as a party for Hollywood to bond and mingle, Elliott said.
For CFO Olivia Theroux, the booming entertainment market and Quixote’s focus on growth attracted her after working as an investment banker with Quixote as a client. Considering Quixote’s origins in Kitaen and Elliott’s risk-taking, Theroux said she worked to ensure her financial leaps were achievable and grounded the company’s ambitions in numbers. Elliott said their creativity – visible in their website’s playful text and emphasis on humor – is what gives Quixote its competitive edge, and the company’s clean layout encourages creative spaces.
“There’s a creative thread that runs through the whole business, given that we were more liberal arts majors, English majors,” Elliott said. “We want to be the Apple of production.”
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To extend the enjoyment of Quixote’s services, Elliott said it now offers Studio Bourbon in its trailers and studios. He said a board member had ties to a family distillery, and Quixote spontaneously decided to work with the company to produce a small batch of bourbon as another little touch to add to its brand image. . While it’s not the first Quixote-themed liquor release — Kitaen said they once had a Crew Brew beer — the bourbon doesn’t mark a company fork, Elliott said. . Instead, Studio Bourbon allows Quixote to market itself, he said, as well as providing opportunities for puns, such as “The Spirit of Hollywood.”
With plans for the bourbon to release in the spring and new studios to be established in Canada, Elliott said he hopes Quixote will continue to evolve and attract new people. For Kitaen, streaming success reinvigorated Hollywood and brought Quixote back to his roots.
“Hollywood is definitely in another golden age,” Kitaen said. “Production is booming, and we’re just at the very beginning of what we established, (what) we started many years ago, and it’s really now reach maturity. We are witnessing the boom.